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Was recommended by a mental health professional, was annoying bc at times it comes off as condescending to the reader. The ideas and info were repetitive from other sources but really simple... I think oversimplified for me personally. I regret buying it but since I paid that much I might try and read it again.
If you're looking into ACT, check out Harris's "Doing What Matters in Times of Stress" published by World Health Organization. It's free, available in non-English languages, and presents ACT better than "Happiness Trap".
p11. "we have have much less [control over our thoughts and feelings] than the "experts" would have us believe." We never learn who the experts are or what they say, because there are no citations. Three books and ACT website are the only resources you get.
Did you know that 73.2% of statistics are made up? p43 "Our minds evolved to think negatively, and research shows that about 80 percent of our thoughts have some degree of negative content." Sounded fishy - no citations as usual. Who would possibly count up human thought? After going down a rabbit hole involving a missing 2005 National Science Foundation article, my best guess is that Harris mischaracterized research.
What you'll find in the book: - Tricks like p12 "As you keep reading this paragraph [describing ice cream], try not to think about your favorite flavor of ice cream... How'd you do? Exactly!" - Questionnaires, that are full of double-barreled or leading questions - Genius insights like: p19 "Presumably, if you're reading this book, your life could work better than it does right now."
I was cautious and skeptical of Harris from page 1: "Just suppose for a moment that almost everything you believe about finding happiness turned out to be inaccurate, misleading, or false... And what if almost everyone you knew turned out to be in the same boat - including all those psychologists, psychiatrists, and self-help gurus who claim to have all the answers?"
As far as I'm concerned, Harris IS one of the gurus who claims to have all the answers. I don't trust him. I trust psychologists who try to evaluate ACT's efficacy via meta-analyses. And there IS evidence for ACT efficacy (look up google scholar).
I think I did end up getting some benefit from ACT, but not from this book. I had to overcome the distrust towards ACT I got from this book to reevaluate and improve my stress management tools.
IF you are not already familiar with mindfulness, setting goals based on values, and other similar wellness ideas, then this book would be a decent introduction. But it takes way too many words to expound upon some simple ideas. It feels like a powerpoint presentation puffed up for book length. Since I have read other pop psychology books and am familiar with many of the ideas and concepts, I found it to have low value for the time and money invested.
This is a problem with some books. Someone has a great idea or opinion and he or she expresses it in a few written pages. Then he or she wants to write and publish a book. The standard for a book is at least 180 pages. So the book has many edited repetitions and fillings which make it difficult to finish reading it.
This was recommended by a therapist. First I do not like negative connotations in the title. ie books for dummies will never be in my home or in eye sight of my kids. There were a few good points but I could sum up the main points in a few pages. Okay for newbies to self-help books. I am also a therapist and I do not agree with using "happiness" as a negative to avoid disappointment. Maybe the author could try writing self-help book called How To Trap Happiness For Yourself